Processing the Pandemic I: Loss | Newberry

Processing the Pandemic I: Loss

Dave Ortega, De las Casas: Selections from “An account, much abbreviated, of the destruction of the Indies” Written from 1540 to 1542 by Dominican Friar Bartolomé de las Casas. Boston: Dave Ortega, 2015 (Ayer PN6727.O77 D39 2015)

Burial scene accompanying the Office of the Dead in Book of hours, use of Rouen, ca. 1470 (VAULT Case MS 43)

Daniel Defoe, A Journal of the Plague Year, London: 1722 (Case F 4595 .217)

Thursday, April 14, 2022Friday, April 15, 2022


Newberry Library

Organized by Rose Miron, Newberry Library; Bryan Brazeau, University of Warwick; and Christopher Fletcher, Newberry Library
Center for Renaissance Studies Programs

Call for Proposals

The defining experiences of COVID-19 have raised new questions about how we approach the study of emotions—such as which emotional expressions are socially valued and whether shared emotional experiences can transcend social, cultural, or temporal divides—and the practical applications of such studies in rebuilding our post-pandemic world.. Events over the past two years have called upon us to rethink many of our long-held assumptions, while the pandemic itself has starkly demonstrated ongoing social inequalities and the insidious legacies of settler colonialism and white supremacy.

How can we—as an open community of scholars, teachers, archivists, social workers, and practitioners—learn from these experiences and from each other in transformative transdisciplinary ways? How can such dialogues reframe existing discussions around the history of the emotions and our responses to trauma? Moreover, how can the study of peoples’ responses to traumatic events before 1800 help guide our own experience of the pandemic?

Processing the Pandemic will attempt to trace new pathways to answer these questions. This event, the first in a multi-year series of seminars and symposia, will focus on the theme of Loss. Through roundtable discussions, collection presentations, and workshops, this program will explore how scholars, students, and professionals may use the experience of and responses to significant loss before 1800 to chart our own path towards a post-COVID-19 world.

This series is co-sponsored by D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library and the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance at the University of Warwick.

Call for Proposals

The call for abstracts to participate in this inaugural symposium and the forthcoming series (dates to be determined) is now OPEN. See the full CFP here.

We welcome proposals of two types:

  1. 10-15 minute presentations for roundtable discussions on emotional responses to traumatic events before 1800, to be included in one of the two hybrid symposia.
  2. 1-2 hour virtual seminars, pedagogic in nature, that would use primary sources to explore one of the guiding emotions and demonstrate how the experience and/or expression of this emotion in the past can inform the present (widely defined). Co-proposals are warmly welcomed for such seminars.

Please submit a proposal and a brief bio to by Friday, October 29, 2021.

If you have any questions about this program or the larger series, please send an email to

Cost and Registration Information 

This program is free and open to all, although registration in advance is required. Registration will open on March 1, 2022. Participants and attendees from Consortium participants may be eligible to receive CRS Consortium Grants to cover the costs of attending the workshop. Contact your local consortium representative for details.